Super Bowl LVII is just three days away now and the sports world is getting ready to turn its collective attention on Arizona for a huge battle between the Chiefs and Eagles. 14 players on those two teams will become the next in a long line to experience the big game after coming from the humble beginnings of the FCS. From Philadelphia’s tough defense to Kansas City’s lethal offense, the subdivision will have its footprint on the Super Bowl this Sunday.
Christian Elliss - LB (Idaho)
Christian Elliss, the former Vandal, got in on eight games for the Eagles’ defense this year making his first appearance in Philadelphia's Week 13 matchup against Tennessee. In those eight games, Elliss registered 10 solo tackles and two assisted tackles. He appeared in both of the Eagles’ playoff games and recorded one stop in the NFC Championship two weeks ago.
Dallas Goedert - TE (South Dakota State)
Dallas Goedert has established himself as a household name for Eagles fans since coming into the NFL in 2018. Goedert, who was once a dominant tight end for South Dakota State, has carried over his success to Philadelphia. This season alone he’s hauled in 55 catches for 702 yards and three touchdowns. He notched one of those three score against division rival New York in the NFC Divisional round and had a season-best 100-yard receiving day against Houston back in Week 9. Goedert could be an X factor for the Eagles offense this Sunday against a Kansas City defense that has surrendered nine scores to tight ends in 2022.
James Bradberry - CB (Samford)
Once a Samford Bulldog, cornerback James Bradberry has made a name for himself on the Eagles defense. Bradberry was drafted by Carolina back in 2016 but found a new home in Philadelphia this last year. During the Eagles run to the Super Bowl, he has played a pivotal role in the secondary recording three interceptions (one of which was returned for a touchdown), 44 tackles and knocking away 17 passes. His efforts earned him a second-team All Pro spot this year. In the playoffs alone Bradberry has been responsible for five tackles and a pick while playing over 90% of the defensive snaps.
Javon Hargrave - DT (South Carolina State)
Javon Hargrave, an SC State alum, is currently one of the most dominant defensive lineman in the NFL. He started up front in 17 of the Eagles’ 18 games so far this season and has 60 tackles to his name, three short of tying his career-best mark in that category. Hargrave has also sacked opposing quarterbacks 11 times this year and has recovered two fumbles while also batting away two passes. A Pro Bowler in 2021, Hargrave missed the All-Star cut this year but will be playing for a much bigger prize on Sunday when he lines up against one of the most elusive QBs in the NFL.
Mac McCain - DB (North Carolina A&T)
Former North Carolina A&T standout Mac McCain has not played for the Eagles year and is currently on the practice squad.
Tristan McCollum - DB (Sam Houston)
Tristan McCollum is the only former FCS player who is a rookie for Philadelphia this year. The former Sam Houston Bearkat has not seen game time in 2022 but is currently on the Eagles future/reserve unit.
Sua Opeta - OL (Weber State)
Offensive guard Sua Opeta came into the league in 2019 as an undrafted free agent from Weber State. He is currently on the Eagles practice squad.
Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Oladokun - QB (Samford/South Dakota State)
Chris Oladokun may be only a rookie but he’s already been quite the journeyman. After starting his collegiate career with Samford, Oladokun found his way to South Dakota State. From there he was drafted by Pittsburgh last spring but has made it to Kansas City. Oladokun is currently on the Chiefs’ practice squad.
Jack Cochrane - LB (South Dakota)
Former Coyote linebacker Jack Cochrane has seen a fair amount this season game action despite being just a rookie. Appearing in 17 of Kansas City’s games this year (all on special teams). He’s registered nine total tackles (five solo) but has yet to record a stop so far this postseason.
Jerick McKinnon - RB (Georgia Southern)
Yes, Georgia Southern is no longer an FCS team but they were when Jerrick McKinnon was running the ball for them. McKinnon has served an important role for the Chiefs’ potent offense this season, rushing the ball 72 times for 291 yards and a score. McKinnon, who came over from San Francisco in 2021, averages four yards per carry this for Kansas City. He isn’t just a threat on the ground, though, as he’s also caught 56 passes for 512 yards and nine touchdowns. McKinnon ran the ball 11 times in the Divisional Round win over Jacksonville and came in on nearly 40% of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps in the AFC Championship.
Justin Watson - WR (Penn)
Justin Watson may not be one of the premier names on Kansas City’s vaunted offense but he hasn’t been entirely in the shadows either. The Penn alum has been targeted at least once in all but one of the Chiefs’ games this fall and has hauled in 15 passes for 315 yards and two scores. All of those numbers have set career-high marks in this his first season with Kansas City since coming over from Tampa Bay.
Khalen Saunders - DT (Western Illinois)
Defensive tackle Khalen Saunders has been with the Chiefs since joining the league in 2019 but is currently in the midst of a career-best season. The former WIU Leatherneck has picked up 3.5 sacks along with 48 total tackles and he even has one PBU. Saunders got in on three stops in Kansas City’s AFC Championship win over Cincinnati and has played roughly 40% of the team’s defensive snaps so far during the playoffs.
Bryan Cook - DB (Howard/Cincinnati)
Bryan Cook may have transferred to Cincinnati during his college career but he got his start in the FCS with Howard. Cook joined the Chiefs last year when he was selected in second round of the NFL Draft. As a rookie this season he's gotten in on 33 tackles and picked up a sack. In the playoffs he racked up five tackles.